Blog Archives

First time around for Highlands Festival, all about keeping the Highlands Region Green

Here is the scoop:
The New Jersey Highlands Coalition is hosting the 1st annual Highlands Festival at Waterloo on September 21-22, 2013 at Waterloo Village in Byram, NJ. The environmental festival will be a “Celebration of All Things Local” and will promote local music, food, art, history, cultural and natural resources.

This rain-or-shine event will delight people of all ages and feature a wide range of activities, including performances by 20 NJ musicians/bands, Local Food Court, Crafts and Fair Trade Marketplace, Living Green Expo, cooking demonstrations, workshops, an art show, Lenape Village activities, canal rides, kayaking, and guided nature hikes.

The music line-up features artists with strong ties to New Jersey and the Highlands region. Headlining on Saturday is Marco Benevento (Rolling Stone’s David Fricke described his music as, “deceptively rich, catchy melodies and straight-ahead grooves that expand with subtle mounting gestures”). On Sunday, the popular Americana band, Yarn, will cap off the day. Known for mixing bluegrass, country, rock and roll, the Grammy-nominated Yarn will no doubt delight new fans and draw their die-hard and enthusiastic fans, affectionately known as the “Yarmy.

The musicians on the roster—all with New Jersey ties—include: Bovine Social Club, Wig Party, Brother Buddha, The Soviet, Grover Kemble and Za Zu Zaz, Damian Calcagne Band; Matty Carl Project, Keith Kenny, Chelsea Carlson, Nalani and Sarina, Pfeiffer Twins, Son of Dov, Mike Herz, Kathy Moser, and Dave and Claire.

Waterloo Village has an exciting history as a musical performance venue. Over the years, renowned acts such as the Beach Boys, Judy Collins, James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Phish and the Metropolitan Opera have performed there.

The New Jersey Highlands Coalition is hosting the Highlands Festival to raise awareness about the natural resources of the NJ Highlands region, to promote the missions of the NJ Highlands Coalition’s 80+ nonprofit member organizations, and to fund the 2014 Small Grants Program which supports local grassroots organizations. As a nonprofit organization in Boonton, New Jersey, the NJ Highlands Coalition works to protect, restore, and enhance the water and other natural and cultural resources of New Jersey’s Highlands, now and for the future. The Coalition serves eighty-eight municipalities in Bergen, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties that are protected under the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act in addition to the 5.4 million state residents who depend on the Highlands for drinking water. For more information on the NJ Highlands Coalition or to become a member, please visit the organization’s website:

With such a diverse range of activities offered at the two-day event, the Highlands Festival at Waterloo is sure to be a fun and enjoyable event for all. Tickets cost $15 online for one day; $25 for two days. At the gate, tickets will be $25 for one day; $40 for two days. To purchase tickets online and for more information about the festival, please visit the festival’s website at:


Big Bandingo is back in NWNJ!


On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 6th, 7th, and 8th 2013, AG Tavern at Layton Hotel in Layton, NJ will welcome back the Big Bandingo festival!


In addition to over 50 musical acts, the weekend entertainment will include; vendors, hula hoopers, belly dancers, Lorde and Lady of Layton competition, find the M&M in the whipped cream contest, visual art romp and late night frolicking.



The performers have been selected to cover a wide range of music to satisfy various palates and ages. Up and coming new talent, as well as legendary masters will be spotlighted. Soul, rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, funk, gospel, and even space-dance-swing-disco will be represented. On Friday evening, the classic ‘Dark side of the Moon’ album, by Pink Floyd will be performed in it’s entirety, complete with a psychedelic light show. Some of the anticipated highlights will include the Latin power punch groove of Sub Committee, the trance freakout of 50 Hippies, the super shaking Matty Carl Project and the Ecuadorian pan-flute sounds of Andes Cosmos.



“Northwest NJ may seem like nothing but a bunch of hicks in the sticks, but these hills are alive with the most glorious of sounds. Come savor the delight,” beckons Mingo Lodge, of the band, Big Boss Sausage.



The Layton Hotel was the home of the Big Bandingo from 2007-2010. The festival organizers decided to return here after it was purchased and renovated by the folks at AG Pizza. The rustic stage sits by the Little Flatbrook on the amphitheater-like lawn. A new patio, complete with a tiki bar, overlooks the site, and offers patrons a chance to enjoy the show while dining.



The festival begin at 4 pm Friday night. It will be outdoors until 10 pm, then continue inside until 1:30 am. On Saturday, gates will open at 11 am. It will go inside again at 10 pm, then go until 1:30 am. On Sunday the gates open at 11 am, and the festival ends at 10 pm. The show is rain or shine, so prepare accordingly. Food, beer, frothy cocktails, and other refreshments will be available at the event. Bring your blanket, lawn chair, flip- flops and a hankerin’ for a sweet country hoedown. Please leave your pets and coolers at home.



AG Tavern is located at 124 CR 560 in Layton, NJ. Local camping, Pay Pal details and other information can be found at AG Tavern can be contacted at 973-948-5020.


Advance tickets are $5.00 Friday, $10.00 Saturday, $10.00 Sunday, and weekend passes are $20.00.


At the gate, tickets are $10.00 Friday, $15.00 Saturday, $15.00 Sunday, and weekend passes are $25.00. There is no refund on tickets.




5pm– Ordinary Decent Folk


5:40– Josh Lafargue


6:00– Rusty Rachets


6:40– Drew Whelan


7:00– Tell The Truth


8:00– Evan Lane & Friends Feat. Josh Chaffee


8:40– Kelly Fragale


9:00– Dark Side of the Moon Tribute


10:00– Kevin Kinsella Band


10:40– Ophelia Immortal


11:00– Ant & Co.


11:40– Rachel Weinrich & Brian St. John


12:00– BBQ




12pm– Lorg


1pm– Chris Fantasia Band


1:40– Bill Ruddy


2:00– Gandalf Lebowski


2:40– Maura Glynn-Congdon


3:00– Circus McGurkus


3:40– David Larsen


4:00– Blind Fergeson


4:40– Melissa Judge


5:00– Michael Ironside


5:40– Jake Stanton


6:00– Swamp Fox


6:40– Troop Lakshmi


7:00– Subcommittee


8:00– The Purple Avenger & Jack Mullet Band


8:20– Puck


9:00– The Spinbirds


9:20– Jungle Jazz Initiative


11:00– Eric Waldman


11:40– Mike Herz


12:00– The Hawk Owls


1:00am– Gabe Zander




1pm– 50 Hippies


1:40– Brian Peterson


2:00– Malvador


2:40– Andrew Lister


3:00– The Dowden Brothers


3:40– Bob Nicholson


4:00– Morning Door


4:40– John Sheehan


5:00– Reno


5:40– Mike Esposito


6:00– A Bit of Finger


6:40– Steel City Sunrise


7:00– The Matty Carl Project


8:20– Non-Stop Denny


8:40Big Boss Sausage

New Jersey’s Best Indy Music Fest: Black Potatoe

ImageEverything is ready for the 17th Black Potatoe Music
Festival, running four days and nights from July 11-14, featuring the
rich sounds of artists in all genres played in the quarry and along the
river at the historic Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton.

        Top draws will include Jimmy Vivino and the Barnburners performing the
music of The Band; Graham Alexander, whose Broadway performance of Paul
McCartney music in “Rain” drew wide acclaim; Wicked Knee, a brass and
drums ensemble featuring Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood, along
with dozens of other greats like Chris Smither, Willie Porter and Eilen
Jewell.  Local favorite The Matt Angus Thing does its traditional
Saturday night set under the stars.

        See the full lineup at

        “For this year’s festival, we return to the intimacy of the two stages
set up at the mill so our fans get up close and personal with the
performers,” said Matt Angus, festival founder and music director for the
fest.  “We’ve got something for everybody this year, including a jug
band, the Yahoo Skiffle Crazies, a pair of piano prodigies, Nalani and
Sarina from Flemington, as well as veterans Ellis Paul, Kathy Phillips
and Chris Smither.”

        This is the 17th festival, started originally as a  CD release party.
This year, another CD is being released…the sound track from the new
documentary film “Demand Your Independents,” a look at what goes into
independent recording production. Its premiere is Wednesday, July 10, at
5:30 p.m. at the mill.

        Tickets can be reserved at or can be purchased with
cash at the door.

Northwest New Jersey’s First EVER Nia Jam!!!

Northwest New Jersey's First EVER Nia Jam!!!

Nia speaks to my Soul and helps connect my Mind and Body in the most fun movement exercise class ever! More like festival dancing, just indoors! What’s not to LOVE!?

Northwest New Jersey is hosting it’s first ever Nia Jam, a 90 minute intro to Nia Dance movement combining Dance Arts, Healing Arts and Martial Arts to High Energy Music!

The jam is FREE and takes place this Sunday 3pm to 4:30 at the gorgeous Chow & Zen Massage & Holistic Center, 14 Bridge Street, in Blairstown, NJ.  Donations will be accepted for the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation.  Dress to move, heal and have a blast!  More details at Nia New Jersey website.

And you can RSVP at 0r call 862-266-1754.